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Juliana Reed, MS, believes that there should be legislative incentives and preferred status for lower cost biosimilars in all government programs, with robust competition and accountability for PBMs not to limit access.
In the final part of HCPLive’s interview with Juliana Reed, MS, executive director of the Biosimilars Forum, discussed how the recent United States Senate Finance Committee hearing regarding biosimilars, “Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and the Prescription Drug Supply Chain: Impact on Patients and Taxpayers,” was a watershed moment for the future of biosimilars in the United States.
Reed believes that there should be legislative incentives and preferred status for lower cost biosimilars in all government programs, with robust competition and accountability for PBMs not to limit access. She emphasized that employers also prefer biosimilars.
“On the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) side, we need to see the FDA streamline development,” Reed stated. “We cannot spend 8 to 10 years developing a biosimilar and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. We cannot do that and we won't do it if there's no access to the market because then its not worth the investment. That's where the PBMs control the destiny of this industry. A lot has to change this year.”
Reed mentioned that she and her team at the Biosimilars Forum are happy to engage with patients to educate them and encourage them to get active in promoting biosimilars, which can increase access to treatments and save money. Other countries that have successfully implemented biosimilars are investing the money saved in giving patients access to newer medicines and innovations. She is currently waiting for PBM announcements about which adalimumab biosimilars they'll be covering this summer, with at least 8 biosimilars set to launch in July, and watching the uptake of biosimilars by employers and patients.
“I would love the HCPLive audience to know that there is this safe and effective product that has been approved by the FDA, that is lower cost, that they're not having access to.” Reed underscored. “And especially during this time of economic uncertainty, patients and providers need to know about this and be proactive. It would be incredible to have competition and to lower costs.”
This transcript was edited for clarity.